Developmental aspects of synaesthesia across the adult lifespan

Meier, Beat; Rothen, Nicolas; Walter, Stefan Markus (2014). Developmental aspects of synaesthesia across the adult lifespan. Frontiers in human neuroscience, 8(129), p. 129. Frontiers Research Foundation 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00129

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In synaesthesia, stimuli such as sounds, words or letters trigger experiences of colors, shapes or tastes and the consistency of these experiences is a hallmark of this condition. In this study we investigate for the first time whether there are age-related changes in the consistency of synaesthetic experiences. We tested a sample of more than 400 grapheme-color synaesthetes who have color experiences when they see letters and/or digits with a well-established test of consistency. Our results showed a decline in the number of consistent grapheme-color associations across the adult lifespan. We also assessed age-related changes in the breadth of the color spectrum. The results showed that the appearance of primary colors (i.e., red, blue, and green) was mainly age-invariant. However, there was a decline in the occurrence of lurid colors while brown and achromatic tones occurred more often as concurrents in older age. These shifts in the color spectrum suggest that synaesthesia does not simply fade, but rather undergoes more comprehensive changes. We propose that these changes are the result of a combination of both age-related perceptual and memory processing shifts.

Item Type: Journal Article (Original Article)
Division/Institute: 07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Experimental Psychology and Neuropsychology
10 Strategic Research Centers > Center for Cognition, Learning and Memory (CCLM)
UniBE Contributor: Meier, Beat and Walter, Stefan Markus
Subjects: 100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
ISSN: 1662-5161
Publisher: Frontiers Research Foundation
Language: English
Submitter: Anna Maria Ruprecht Künzli
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2014 09:57
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2017 02:28
Publisher DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00129
PubMed ID: 24653689
BORIS DOI: 10.7892/boris.45876

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